Latest figures compiled by the AFL-CIO continue to provide evidence that the American workplace, in many instances, is an unsafe place. Particularly significant is the fact that, in a very large number of cases, workplace fatalities are the result of company neglect, particularly in non-union shops where there is no one to push for needed safety precautions.
Another major factor is the weakening of safety regulations, the reduction of the budget and staff at the Occupational Safety and Health Agency, the federal body that is charged with making and enforcing safety rules, and the meager penalties doled out to companies that are found to violate the rules.
The shocking figures below list only work-related fatalities, not the vastly higher number of serious injuries on the job. They are for the year 2020, the last year for which the AFL-CIO completed a tally of job related deaths in the United States.
Number of workers killed on the job: 4,764.
Number of workers killed each day: 350
Estimated number of workers who died from occupational diseases: 120,000.
Number of worker deaths caused by workplace violence: 765.
Also, for earlier information on workplace deaths and injuries including descriptions of numerous incidents, see Confined Space – Weekly Toll: The Last Shift, 1/17.